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Discussion Starter #1
I have decided to add a lever gun to my collection. I have decided on Marlin's model 336 or 1894, I just need to choose a caliber. I am stuck between the .44 mag, the .357 mag, or the venerable 30/30. Here are my details:
1. I don't reload
2. I may/may not hunt with it (live in Georgia)
3. I have a bolt action .308 for hunting
4. I have a 12 ga pump shotgun
5. I have .22 calibers
6. I have a .357 self defense revolver
7. I am NOT wealthy
8. In my area, the model 336 is $280, the 1894 is $380
9. I don't do cowboy action shooting
10. Buying it primarily because I don't have a lever action yet.

Any advice or insight would be GREATLY appreciated

roy d.
 

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If it's me I'd go with the .44 mag; knocks the tar out of stuff and ammo is cheaper than it is for the 30/30.
Good shooting
Mark
 

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One reason to buy the .357 is because you already have a handgun in that caliber, but, if you are just looking for a collector's piece I would go to one of the many gun auction sites online and pick up a new or used .30-30 or even a new or used big bore. A .444 or .45-70 would look nice in your collection, too. Your question is a little hard to address because you don't plan on hunting with this rifle, it seems merely to be a collector's item. You also didn't mention your budget. If I was going to get a lever-action simple as a collector piece I would either get a new 38-55 or a used .25-35.
 

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Wow,

Don't get much of a chance to share purely opinions much anymore!  So, I'll jump on this one!

Keep in mind, it's only that.... my opinion.

Those .357 Magnum lever rifles are a real kick in the pants.... since you're not a handloader, it would offer you some real versatility in your lever-gun.

First, if you did decide to use it hunting, either the 180g Federal Cast-Core or the Remington 180g Core-Lokt loadings would offer you some really potent venison and hog medicine.

Second, .357 ammo is available just about anywhere that ammunition is sold, and it is much cheaper per round to shoot than .30-30!  Then, there's the prospect of just plain fun plinking using .38 special ammo!  This stuff is bargain priced as a price leader in just about every gunshop, sporting goods outlet and discount house around.  Too, at gunshows the folks selling the remanufacured ammo sell these light .38 spcl. loads dirt cheap.

Finally, these little guns are very versatile.  They are equally well suited to shoot anything from fox squirrels to hogs with the right loads, and taking some range constraints into account.  The gun is easy on the shoulders, with light loads is easy on the ears, ammo is easy on the budget (whether buying factory or rolling your own), the carbines for the .357 are also light-weight making them a delight in the woods, and lastly, you already have a .357 revolver, so it would make a wonderful companion piece.

OK, so I'm partial to the .357 lever-guns.... this is NOT and unbiased opinion!  OK?

FWIW!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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Well, Marshall just sold me. I've never been a fan of pistol ammo in rifles but more and more I hear people  saying how much fun they're having with their .357s. Actually, how in the world do you just choose one lever gun?
 

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So many guns, so few $$$.  You hit the nail right on the head.  That would be why my gun safe keeps getting more crowded...
Mark
 
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